Well, my hourly rate is £390 an hour. However, the idea that you get that on a CFA is -- you only find out what you're getting at the end.
So if you take, for example, the NMT and Wilmshurst case where I acted on a CFA, gave two years of my life to doing that probably 70 or 80 per cent of the time, I think I earned about £25,000 a year from doing that case because it was more important and bigger to defend a cardiologist who was being sued by a libel bully(?), to act for the defendants of -- who were being sued by Sheffield Wednesday over what they'd blogged on a website. Again I had to stand up.
I mean, I can hand on heart say that one would earn more money in private practice being paid privately for doing work, and what one has to understand when looking at CFAs is that every lawyer, not just me, you get lots of people who phone up and ask for advice free of charge about all sorts of pursuing cases and we can't charge for them and we take on cases that we are allowed an uplift on, which sort of balances out over a year to compensate us.
It's fair to say that lawyers are better paid than nurses and other people. There might be a reason that we are and it might be that there's also a problem with the system, but the fact is, if you talk about the Dowlers, again you have Sally Dowler who came in to me and at the first meeting said, "We cannot afford a lawyer", and I -- I mean, I have a record of saying to people, "I'll act for you anyway" because that's just what I do because sometimes you have to do that, but I can't -- I can't insure you if you lose the case and have to pay the other side.
Nobody knew at the time how it was going to end up. We did not know that the News of the World was going to end up closing down and there would be massive negotiations. For all we know, there could have been a total defence of the claim, et cetera, and they could have lost the claim, they could have pursued a claim and News of the World could have taken an issue saying, "Well, Milly Dowler does not have a claim at all because she's dead and therefore has no right of privacy". It's a legal argument.
Fortunately, thankfully, people on the other side had the good grace not to run that argument. But it's the sort of thing that you just don't know what's going to come forward. You don't know that -- and the fact that the Dowler family themselves, Bob and Sally and Gemma Dowler have claims, the claim is still based on an inference. You have Glenn Mulcaire making notes of their numbers, et cetera, but there's no actual evidence to show a real call or that something that was taken from that call was used. You have to establish the inferences and be able to present the case.
In fact there's not been a judicial decision yet on any phone hacking claim to say that -- possibly Sienna Miller there was an admission because of the way that proceeded, and I think there might have been --